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Reviews for B507 Kayak by Stearns Inflatables


Rated: 8.5/10 Based On: 4 Reviews

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06-17-2004
Submitted by: JDSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     For starters, this is NOT a flatwater boat, it is whitewater only, and I think that is made clear in most adds I've seen for it. I've paddled both inflatables and hardboats, and I've got to say, this boat handles and tracks as well as anything I've ever been in on whitewater. I've taken it on two runs so far, a class I-II run, and a class III+ run in a very tight, high volume river. It is very stable, very maneuverable, and rollable. I love the tight cockpit that makes you feel connected to the boat. It's extremely comfortable, and you are not constantly repositioning yourself as you are in most other IK's. I also own a Sea Eagle 340x, and there is just no comparison, the Stearns completely smokes it.

If you haven't run much whitewater, I would suggest starting out with class II or less, until you understand how to brace and eddy turn. It's not as forgiving as the tradition "ducky" design, and the potential to flip is greater. Still, it's much more stable than a hard boat, and you can do alot of the same play moves.

My only complaints are that the bottom material, which appears to be about 1100 denier pvc fabric, could be susceptible to wear over time, but that's speculation. It's overall a very tough little boat. Another key is to inflate it in the shade to avoid loss of air pressure when hitting the cold water. If you're in class III or above, you'll want as much rigidness as possible. That said, it's a quite rigid boat, kudos to Stearns for their design here.

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07-09-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     After owning a regular Stearns IK116 for 16 months, I bought a couple of the self-bailing versions (B507) from a friend of mine who didn't really care much for them. I, however, have enjoyed them quite a bit, AFTER making a slight modification. I have attached my own tracking fin to the skid runner on the stern of the boat. This has greatly improved the tracking, making it quite comparable to the non self bailing version. I have used it extensively for the last 3 months, taking it through scores of class II+ & III- rapids. I no longer have to get out and dump water collected inside after running a rapid. It just drains out on its own and quickly at that. An added foam "kickboard" on my seat gives me a little more height and a lot of comfort sitting. The inflated rear air bag makes a comfortable back rest. Took a little time to get used to using the thigh straps and sitting in bent-leg position, but I now enjoy all the control it adds to manuevering the boat. Sometimes I attach a bungee cord to the stern D rings to provide some storage tie-down, only wishing that the manafacturers had attached some D rings to the bow of the boat as well. Overall I am very pleased with this boat and can recommend it for anyone looking for a great entry level inflatable that is heads and shoulders above the cheap pvc "pool-toy" inflatables.
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10-23-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     This is an all around good boat. I have two stearns boats, the non-bailing and the self-bailing. I think that the self-bailing model is great and works well, with just a few minor complaints. Which is why I rated this an 8.

For one since it doesn't have a skeg, it not good for alot of flatwater paddle due to the fact that it has no tracking and is hard to keep straight. Probably with a really, really good stroke it could be done, but throw in wind and current and it gets a little squirrly. The other thing that is my biggest complaint is that it seems like such a cramped space. I'm about 5'8-5'9 and weigh about 150 give or take and I felt very cramped. It didn't have alot of leg room. I got used to it, but I always feel cramped.

Other than that I love the boat and would buy another one if the need was there!

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07-16-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     The self-bailing, white-water version of the IK116, should not be your kayak of choice if you are going to use it mainly for straightline flatwater trips. It does not track very well, and you will be uncomfortable after several hours...

However, if you need a kayak that you can stuff in a dufflebag, and toss on a plane to go someplace, the Stearns is a good choice. Well made, and the price is right. (I got mine on the internet for $309)

I view my Stearns as a specialty item, for travel purposes, and it fits that bill very well. Price and quality are its two most attractive features. I am looking forward to playing with it in some surf in the near future, and will re-rate it afterwards.

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